The call came in a news release issued Friday by the City of McCall, St. Luke’s McCall Hospital, Cascade Medical Center, McCall Police Department, McCall Fire Department, Donnelly Rural Fire Protection District and Valley County Emergency Manager. The groups are working together to advise “no visitors” and “stay home, stay healthy” as a proactive approach to preserve community resources and health care.
“We find ourselves in a challenging time as we all try to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community by following the orders of our president and governor to stay home. The west central mountains has finite healthcare resources. It is very likely that anyone who gets sick in our area may need to be transported to another area for treatment. This puts massive strain on our entire healthcare system,” the statement said.
On Wednesday, the State of Idaho adopted federal guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes avoiding discretionary travel. McCall officials respectfully asked that no visitation happen during this time because of limited services available at St. Luke’s McCall and Cascade Medical and limited EMS transport services.
“We simply don’t have enough stores, healthcare providers, medical tools or first responders to take care of an increase in population right now,” McCall Mayor Bob Giles said in the statement. “We need to protect people’s public health and safety as a top priority in our area and for the future.”
As of Thursday, Ketchum and Blaine County, home to Hailey and Sun Valley Ski Resort, had 16 documented cases of COVID-19 infection, 15 of which came to Blaine County from out of the area, said Dr. Greg Irvine, St. Luke’s McCall Medical Center chief of staff .
“This explosion of cases in Blaine County is the largest outbreak in the state and has happened in a matter of a very few days,” Irvine said. “We must avoid reproducing this outcome in other communities like McCall. Though our hospital is prepared to care for the citizens of Valley County and surrounding areas, an influx of people from elsewhere risks overwhelming the limited resources at our hospital. It also continues the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”